Addressing food insecurity on college campuses
A recent study revealed the rates of hunger among college students are higher than the rest of the country.
Nearly half of students surveyed reported food insecurity in the past month. "Costs are expensive. Not just tuition but rent and other bills and of course food and often food is what goes to the bottom of the list so we're hearing more and more that there is a lot of need on campus in our area and nationwide," said Suzanne Becker, Assistant Director at Feed My People Food Bank in Eau Claire.
A survey released this year by Temple University found that 45% of nearly 86,000 college students say they've experienced "limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food".
Many Wisconsin students are experiencing this daily. In 2014, Feed My People partnered with UW-Eau Claire to bring relief to students on campus. Campus Harvest Food Pantry’s lead intern Katelyn says the pantry serves as a vital resource for many students.
"Students here often do not have the economical means to go get groceries and stuff. They don’t have reliable transportation, not enough money,” she said.
Over the years, the campus pantry has grown and more students are signing up. Pantry volunteers agree that food is something college students shouldn't have to stress about.
UW-Eau Claire isn't the only area food pantry for students. CVTC also operates one and Feed My People is currently working with UW-Stout and UW-Barron to bring pantries to those campuses as well.